The 5 Secrets of Outstanding Sales Success

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Sell or Be Sold" by Grant Cardone. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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How do you achieve sales success? How does lack of commitment hinder selling success?

You achieve sales success by taking full responsibility for the success of every sale, putting in 10 times the required effort, and acknowledging that sales success has nothing to do with luck. A lack of commitment creates a mentality that sees success in sales as optional, and this hinders selling success. 

Read on to discover the secrets of sales success.

Commit to Sales Success

Once you’ve committed to the sales profession, you need to commit to sales success with the same fervor. Think of success as a duty, obsession, and ethical requirement—if you ever see success as something optional or that will “just happen,” you’ll never reach it. (A lack of commitment to sales success is why few people get the life they dream of and even fewer of them get the life they have the potential to have.)

To determine if you’re committed enough to success, ask yourself the following questions (this applies to any field, not just sales). If you answer no to any of them, you need to strengthen your commitment.

  • Do you think success is a responsibility?
  • Are you making full use of your abilities?
  • Are you willing to accept the challenges that success brings, such as more work?
  • Are you and your family on the same page about creating success?

To commit to sales success when selling:

1. Take responsibility. Decide that whether or not someone buys is completely dependent on you, not them. Cardone doesn’t ever allow his staff to blame lack of sales on the customer’s indecisiveness, cheapness, and so on.

2. Don’t make excuses. Never try to justify your failure. You will inevitably fail sometimes, but instead of abdicating responsibility or telling yourself you didn’t want whatever you failed to get anyway, be honest with yourself and analyze the situation. Don’t let anyone else console you by placing blame elsewhere (for example, your coworker might blame lack of business on the economy). If you’re not honest about why you failed, you won’t be able to troubleshoot accurately and you’ll keep making the same mistakes, which will ultimately sabotage your success.

You’ll be more likely to make excuses after you’ve had some success but then stalled, so be particularly vigilant in these moments.

3. Think of making the sale as your duty. Decide that succeeding in sales is critically important.

4. Take “massive action.” When you want something, put in at least 10 times more effort than you think you need, and be unreasonable and insane. For example, when Cardone was working on a client, he called him 15 times in 72 hours even though the client never returned his previous calls.

Take so much action that you create new problems for yourself. For instance, if you’re trying to get appointments, book so many that your schedule is overwhelming.

Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, take a lot of action. This will make up for your inexpertise. 

You’ll know you’re taking enough action when people start advising you to live in the moment, slow down, relax, and so on. Ignore them—people who give this kind of advice aren’t doing enough massive action themselves and have given up on their dreams. Getting things done—producing—is what makes people happy.

(Shortform note: Read our summary of Cardone’s The 10X Rule for more on taking massive action.)

5. Acknowledge that sales success has nothing to do with luck. Luck is a byproduct of hard work and preparation. People who have multiple successes might seem lucky, but this is just because success is a self-fulfilling prophecy—once you have it once, you’ve put yourself in a better position to get it again. 

The 5 Secrets of Outstanding Sales Success

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Here's what you'll find in our full Sell or Be Sold summary :

  • How your happiness and even survival depend on your selling ability
  • The five steps to becoming a master salesperson
  • Step-by-plans to lead the customer to make a purchase

Joseph Adebisi

Joseph has had a lifelong obsession with reading and acquiring new knowledge. He reads and writes for a living, and reads some more when he is supposedly taking a break from work. The first literature he read as a kid were Shakespeare's plays. Not surprisingly, he barely understood any of it. His favorite fiction authors are Tom Clancy, Ted Bell, and John Grisham. His preferred non-fiction genres are history, philosophy, business & economics, and instructional guides.

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